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11th Jul 2022

How Evan Comerford’s antics before Sean O’Shea penalty helped Dublin

Lee Costello

“They don’t even know what injury to treat the physios.”

Sean O’Shea was the hero yesterday after ensuring that Kerry defeated Dublin with a last gap free kick, and sent his county to the All-Ireland final.

However, in the first half, a missed penalty by the same man actually helped Dublin burst back into life and really come back into the game.

One of the variables as to why O’Shea missed, was that he had to wait ages before he was allowed to take the penalty in the first place.

This was because the goalkeeper, Evan Comerford, had went down injured and needed treatment from the sidelines.

The substitute goalkeeper was even warming up in case he needed to be replaced, but he recovered and made the crucial save Dublin needed.

Speaking on the GAA Hour, former Galway star Finian Hanley believes that Comerford was buying time, and heaping the pressure on O’Shea by doing so.

“The penalty itself was poor for Sean O’Shea to be taking, you could feel a bit of nerves in it as well, because there was a lot of pressure on him, it would have put them probably comfortably in the driving seat, would they have pulled away if they got it? That gave the Dubs a lot of energy, that save, and obviously the antics that happened before that. 

“Evan Comerford, got a bit light in the head or whatever it was, but look this was all part of it, you know? We’re naive to say Darran, that we go to training and we’re not talking about smart fouls.

“It’s slowing the game down, it’s getting set up, it’s all this, it’s happening – the public think that you go to training and you don’t talk about this, this is all part of the game. The goalie warming up, that goalie was never coming on, for God’s sake.”

Kerry legend Darran O’Sullivan believes that the officials could step in, when these situations occur.

“Tell me this, when the penalty is given, and Comerford goes down. It’s great game management by Dublin, but you’re the officials, nobody is around him, he hits the deck, holds his head, and then the physios come on and rub his leg…”

“They don’t even know what injury to treat the physios,” added Donegal’s Eamon McGee.  

“Surely be to God, the umpires can say to the referee, ah Jesus there’s nothing there,” continued O’Sullivan.

“There’s code, but there’s code. There’s 100% code for all of this,” replied Hanley. “Their hands are tied. Phsyios know what’s going on, it’s like right you go down, we get on etc.”

At this stage, the Kerry host admitted that it is a part of the game he currently benefits from.

“I do it every second minute for the club at the minute because I be exhausted, you come down and wait a couple of minutes or whatever, it’s fine.”

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